Chicago Improv Festival Wrap Up: Day 2

Friday April 23rd

In the morning we headed to what would become our regular breakfast place, Yolk. They had something on the menu that caught my eye: Shana’s Delight!

Then we headed to see some sculptures in the park and wander around. The gang was having fun with these sculptures.

And the ninja games continued…

We stopped at a Walgreens and found the secret to why Sarah Tufts looks so good and is always going “Squee!”

After a little shopping (and my ritual festival trip to H and M) we went to Lincoln Park, which was amazing. A beautiful park with an glorious free zoo and botanical gardens.

We couldn’t resist making this slide show of the Dusk Wolfpack. I totally Twiharded out.

Imagine: He gets a call. The girl is in in trouble…

His wolfpack brother hears the call.

And then…

The transformation begins…

until …

Aw, yeah. Wolfpack.

Then we got to see some awesome otters, beavers, ostriches, giraffes. But I think my favorite sighting was the brown bear and the lions.

Avi and the bear.

Chelsea, me and the lions. Rawrr.
Then we headed back to the hotel to freshen up before our show. We trekked down to the Second City Skybox and had a tech rehearsal in the theater, with Sara on sound and Eric on lights. The space was very nice. The nicest theater I saw at the festival. Lots of levels on stage. Great lighting options. Good sound system and microphones. 90 Seat house with drink tables. We had an hour for tech to get comfy with the space and practice the tech heavy moments in the show.
Backstage we got prepped for the big night. We went on at 7:30. Although the show got off to a tentative start, it ended up being a solid show. We won the crowd over by the end. I think the festival photographed and taped the show, so hopefully there’ll be more footage to follow.

After our show, the next show was sold out, so we headed to the bar for an meal and a drink and a chance to debrief the show. Then we went back to the theater to check out our friends “Improsia” from Seattle and “Children of a Lesser God” from Chicago. I didn’t know it when we got our tickets, but Susan Messing is in that group, and I had really wanted to see her play. I have heard so much about her over the years, but had never met or seen her. Their set was fantastic and it was really satisfying to see funny, mature women doing their stuff on stage. Delicious! I hope we can bring them down here some day for LAFF.
After that we did a partial cast photo in front of the Second City Theater and went back to the hotel for a Dusk cast party.


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About Shana Merlin

Merlin Works is the brainchild of Shana Merlin: improviser, teacher, and performer. Since 1996, she’s been leading classes that stretch people’s imaginations, push them out of their comfort zones, and make them laugh out loud for hours at a time.

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